This Day in Yankees History: CC Sabathia Joins 3,000-Strikeout Club

Max Goodman

One year ago, CC Sabathia joined one of the most exclusive clubs in baseball history.

The southpaw registered his 3,000th strikeout in the second inning of his start in Arizona, becoming just the 27th hurler ever to reach such a milestone.

Sabathia is just the third left-hander to eclipse 3,000 punch outs – Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton are the only others to do so.

Shortly after the momentous strikeout – getting former Yankees backstop John Ryan Murphy to swing and miss on a slider down in the zone on 1-2 – Sabathia was able to share a special moment with his family adjacent to New York's dugout. 

CC Sabathia with family after 3000th strikeout
CC Sabathia with his family shortly after his 3,000th strikeoutMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This past year was Sabathia's 19th in the Major Leagues. He was a former first-round pick in 1998, ascending up through the Indians' organization before his debut in 2000. The left-hander spent eight years with Cleveland – where he won an American League Cy Young Award in 2007 – before making a brief stop in Milwaukee in 2008.

Sabathia signed a seven year, $161 million contract to become a Bronx Bomber the following offseason – the largest ever for a pitcher, at the time – and went on to finish his career in pinstripes. 

He retired at the end of this past season with 3,093 career strikeouts, 16th on the all-time list. 1,700 of them came in a Yankees uniform. 

The left-hander's durability and consistency on the mound puts him in a good position to earn Hall of Fame votes when he's eligible in a few years. Sabathia's lengthy résumé includes 251 wins (47th all time), 561 total appearances, 3,577 1/3 innings pitched, 62 WAR (53rd among all pitchers), six All-Star Game appearances and a World Series title in 2009.

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